Close this search box.

Sixth Form Life

Day to Day Life

Students often say that Sixth Form is where they spend some of the most enjoyable years of their school life and St Philip Howard Sixth Form offers a vibrant and happy place to study. As a member of the Sixth Form you are joining a long established and successful Sixth Form with an excellent reputation in the community. 98% of our students receive all five of their University offers.

Sixth Form life is not the same as Year 11 study. Students are treated more as adults and are expected to take responsibility for their own learning, as well as setting a good example to the younger students with regard to behaviour, appearance and general attitude to work. You are taught in smaller groups, you have more independent study time and are given Sixth Form privileges.

We are here to ensure that you receive the guidance and support you need to flourish, both academically and personally. Students will be allocated a personal tutor with whom they will meet on a regular basis. The tutor is there to support you in your work, to oversee your progress, and to provide guidance on the choices you will make over the two years.

Sixth Form RE

RE offers students the opportunity to broaden their perception and awareness of a variety of important issues.  We look closely at current affairs related to ethics, philosophy and various world religions while maintaining a link to the Catholic Social Teachings of the Church.  Students are encouraged to debate, think independently, and engage in group discussions about many issues facing the world today.  These skills are highly valued by universities and employers and proves useful to the students in interviews. As a Catholic Sixth Form, Sixth Formers are given this provision to come together once a fortnight for Sixth Form RE.

Assessment Periods

Each student will have 12 lessons per subject over a 2-week timetable. In addition they will have one Assessment Period lesson for each subject every two weeks. Assessment Periods are ongoing so students will sit a paper, under exam conditions, on a topic they are learning about at that time. The benefits of Assessment Periods is that students and teachers get a clear view of where they are in their learning, where the gaps might be and what they need to work on to improve.

Independent Learning, Homework & Direct Study Periods

To make a success of your studies there is an expectation that you carry out an hour’s independent learning / homework for every lesson you attend. This is equivalent to five hours per subject, per week. If for any reason no homework is given following a lesson you, as the learner, are expected to conduct research to consolidate knowledge gained in the lesson or to facilitate learning in future lessons. There is no such thing as “no work” set.

Each student will have Directed Study (DS) (or blanks) on their timetables (those doing four A Levels / BTECS will only have a few of these) and these are when they are expected to work silently in the Sixth Form Centre, perhaps on the aforementioned homework, or revision and reading around their subjects. We have four study rooms that can be booked where small groups of students (no more than four) can work quietly.


A key aspect of life at SPH Sixth Form is our enrichment programme.  We encourage education of the whole person.  We believe it is vital that students have the opportinity to broaden their skills and experiences through activities outside the classroom, whether it is in a area of sport, drama, music, leadership, spiritual development, Silver and Gold DofE, or through mentoring younger students, work experience, working as a teaching assistant, or voluntary service.  This is not only important for personal development but for applications to university, apprenticeships or employment.

Every alternate Wednesday afternoon students have a double enrichment session, during which they can take part in various sports activities, board games, first aid course, supporting students in younger years, or volunteering within the community.  During this period, talks and information sessions are also organised by our Careers’ Coach.